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Page last updated at 23:33 GMT, Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Six Nations: O'Driscoll out to wreck England Slam bid

RBS 6 Nations Championship
Venue: Lansdowne Road Date: Saturday, 19 March 2011 Kick-off: 1700 GMT
Coverage: Watch on BBC One, BBC One HD, the BBC Sport website and BBC America; listen on BBC Radio 5 live; text commentary on BBC Sport website and mobiles

Brian O'Driscoll
Brian O'Driscoll celebrates after Ireland's win over England in 2004

Brian O'Driscoll has warned England that Ireland are ready to prey on their Grand Slam jitters.

A first clean sweep since 2003 beckons for Martin Johnson's side when they arrive in Dublin on Saturday for the climax to the Six Nations.

However, O'Driscoll says England are bound to feel under a degree of pressure at the Aviva Stadium.

"You understand that and if you see a potential frailty you have to go after that," said the Irish skipper.

"I don't know too many of the England team and whether there is a new breed coming through full of confidence.

"I'm sure there will certainly be a number of those within their squad.

"But they will have some nerves like you would for any Grand Slam game and it's our job to try to bring those nerves out and compound them.

In 2003 England had been denied a Grand Slam on three previous occasions

Brian O'Driscoll

"Just because you find yourself at the big occasion it doesn't mean you are owed anything. You still have to grind it out."

O'Driscoll was captain in 2003 when Ireland and an England team led by Johnson collided in a Grand Slam decider at the old Lansdowne Road.

The Irish were blown away 42-6 but O'Driscoll, the only survivor from the starting line-up, credits the result for launching a trophy-laden era.

"When you have won four games your confidence is reasonably high, but the better team won on the day and in going on to win the World Cup they proved the quality of side they were," he said.

"We were shown how to play a powerful, dominant game. That was the English at their best.

"It was part of a learning curve that brought us a Triple Crown the following year and the Grand Slam, albeit six years later.

"If you want to compare the England teams then and now, in 2003 they had been denied a Grand Slam on three previous occasions.

"They kept knocking on the door until they were finally let in."

Andrew Trimble is delighted to earn an Ireland start against England after missing out on this season's opening four Six Nations games

Ireland are one loss away from equalling their worst Six Nations performance of 2008 and enter their last competitive match before the World Cup with issues on multiple fronts.

Discipline, confidence, selection and tactics have all come under the microscope during a torrid championship, yet there is no inferiority complex against England.

Ireland were the first team to beat the newly-crowned world champions in 2004 and have since prevailed in the fixture six out of the last seven meetings.

O'Driscoll is determined for them to extend that sequence by ruining the Grand Slam party.

"I can never remember a victory against England that has been brushed over," said the Leinster centre, who on Saturday will equal John Smit's Test captaincy record of 76 games.

"It's always a huge game for us because of the history between the countries and because of the anticipation of the whole nation, not just the rugby supporters, any time we play England.

"The fact England are playing for a Grand Slam heightens the anticipation from an English perspective, but also to a degree from an Irish perspective in that there is an opportunity for us to deny them something.

"It is also a chance to finish this topsy turvy Six Nations on a high with more wins than losses and with a good taste."



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